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Effects of Rain on Asphalt

How’s the current deluge of rain impacting your parking lot? Water is one of asphalt’s worst enemies. Whether you’ve recently installed pavement or your parking lot is years old, heavy rain can cause severe damage. Preventative asphalt maintenance is essential to mitigating destruction. Learn more about the effects of rain on asphalt.

How Can Rain Damage Your Asphalt Parking Lot?

While light rain typically has little to no impact on properly laid asphalt, heavy rains and puddling can cause serious problems. Without proper drainage, pools of standing water in your parking lot can infiltrate even tiny pavement cracks, eventually leading to larger fissures, potholes, and raveling. Over time, rainwater will force the oils in asphalt out and to the surface. As precipitation permeates the ground beneath the pavement, dissolving it, structural integrity weakens, and the potential for large sinkholes increases. Driving over saturated parking lot surfaces accelerates this process. Depending on the resulting rain damage, you could need to repair, resurface, or repave your parking lot much sooner than anticipated.

Does Rain Impact New Asphalt More Severely?

Newly laid, fresh asphalt is more susceptible to damage than cured, hardened pavement. How long does asphalt need to dry before it can withstand rain? Asphalt’s composition is primarily oil, which is more reactive to water when freshly laid. Until your pavement has had 3-6 months to cure, it could suffer severe damage from heavy rains, particularly if your parking lot experiences puddling from poor drainage. If you notice cracks in your new parking lot after rainfall, have them addressed immediately to prevent them from expanding and causing deeper, more serious damage.

Can You Lay Asphalt After Heavy Rain?

A break between atmospheric rivers is not the best time for parking lot installation. Wet, soft soil is the worst possible surface to lay pavement on. Subsoil must be completely dry to ensure a firm, stable foundation. For this reason, rain delays during paving projects are common, especially after heavy rains or multiple consecutive days of precipitation.

How to Prevent Rain from Damaging Asphalt Parking Lots

You can minimize the impact rain has on your asphalt by:

Installing your parking lot in clear, dry weather

The ground must be completely dry before parking lot construction, and the forecast should be clear of rain for a few days after installation to ensure proper curing.

Integrating adequate drainage

Drainage prevents rain damage. Our parking lot design professionals know how to facilitate proper runoff and protect your pavement, integrating curbing, slopes, inlets, islands, and more into your new or existing parking lot design.

Sealcoating regularly

Sealcoating is like waterproofing your pavement, shielding it from moisture and chemical infiltration, UV damage, and wear that can cause cracks and potholes.

Perform timely parking lot repairs

Stop cracks, potholes, and raveling from causing deeper, more extensive repairs and expensive parking lot replacement with timely asphalt maintenance.

Ensure a Strong Defense Against Rain Damage

Minimize the effects of rain on your asphalt parking lot with help from our asphalt contractors in San Jose. Contact American Asphalt at 510-723-0280 to schedule a post-rain parking lot pavement evaluation today.